But the Trades Section at Blalsdon is comparatively is recent venture, having been begun in 1937 when shops for joinery, tailoring and b000naking were set up. Up to then, and ever since January, 1935, when the first Salesians arrived, training in agriculture had been the only concern.
Within a .month of the first of the Salesians' arrival in Blaisdon half-adozen boys arrived from London, and the spacious halls and corridors resounded once more to the laughter and noise they long had lacked.
Soon the livestock beware to appear and a IMe dairy shorthorn herd was built up. By March, 1936, this herd had become Accredited, and though conditions were yet far from ideal and all Ike milking was done by hand, the first milk samples taken by the Gloucester County Council officials were found to have the lowest bacterial count of any milk tested in Gloucestershiee up to that time.
irs A GRAND LIFE
The next need to be supplied was an up-to-date cow-byre and a haybarn, and these the Fathers and Brothers themselves designed and constructed.
By far the greater number of the boys trained in Blaisdon come from the Crusade of Rescue Homes in London.
When the boys arrive in Blaisdon they are usually about thirteen years
old. Generally they are allowed to follow the career they choose for themselves unless circumstances counsel
otherwise. The majority plump for the farm.
From the moment the Brother awakens the boys in the morning till they lay tired heads on their pillows again at night, there is always something definite to be done. There are " loose ends " for boys at Blaisdon.
Another magnificent Salesian farming experiment in this country is at Pott Shrigley.
The visitor to-day to this Missionary College in Cheshire would find it bard to believe that the fertile, cultivated land surrounding Shrigley Hall was a barren and desolate moor when the prieals and lay brothers of the Salesian Order founded a community there twelve years ago.
Then it seemed impossible that the 3o0 acres of surrounding moorland—
the properly of the Hall—should ever be made to produce anything other than the sparse vegetation with which it wascovered.
Now—alter years of hard work on the part of priests, lay brothers and students alike—not only is the community of 120 entirely self supporting, but is actually supplying milk, eggs, and butter to hospitals and institutions in the area, having been granted a licence to do so by the Ministry of Food.
The reclamation of the land was started as an experiment by the Rector of the College, the Rev. Father Hall, S.C., chiefly as a means of balancing, with ;near' labour, the intellectual work of his boys, training for the missionary priesthood.
Advice on the reclamation work and the necessary crop rotation hi h1,11 ViD1.1.—
enrichen thb soil has been given by the Ministry of Agriculture when needed. The work attracted such attention amongst leading seed manufacturers that the. College farm has become an experimental station for the new strains which they produce.
Cleanliness is the watchword for everything connected with milk. Hence the young milkers wear white linen overalls, as does this boy who waits in the dairy to receive and steri lize the milk.